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Is Professionalism Declining?

ScreenShotWe’re sorry to spew statistics, but there are just so many juicy details in this 2012 study by the Center for Professional Excellence at York College. The Polk-Lepson Research Group surveyed 629 human resource and management professionals for their "Professionalism In The Workplace" study.


Those who took the survey cite that the four indicators of professionalism are:

Interpersonal skills (33.6%)

Work ethic (27.3%)

Appearance (25.3%)

Communication skills (24.9%).


One-third of the HR and management professionals surveyed state that they believe professionalism has declined over the past three years. Nearly two-thirds of those surveryed disagree with the idea that the perceived lack of professionalism is due to generational differences.


The most frequent problems managers and HR professionals encounter in new employees:

Poor time management: 32.6%

Sense of entitlement: 27.2%

Weak work ethic: 23%

Poor attendance: 22.2%


The HR and management professionals stated that the best way to increase professionalism for new employees is to increase education: Once the new hires have onboarded, 30% of those surveyed believe there should be more business etiquette workshops.

Many of the professionals feel there should be more done on the front end for workplace preparedness (31%) including internships and on-the-job training (37%).


Only half of the companies that participated in this survey have orientation programs that specifically address what is considered to be professional behavior.


As always, The Emily Post Institute will do our part to bring professionalism to workplaces through our seminars, webinars, e-learning for new hires, and professional development content. Give us a call: (802) 860-1814.